Ludacris' Work Hard, Play Hard 'Four-Pack' Fitness Plan - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Ludacris’ Work Hard, Play Hard ‘Four-Pack’ Fitness Plan

Yes, actor-rapper Chris Bridges likes the good life – but six days a week, he pushes his body to the limit in fast and furious sweat sessions.

Chris Bridges is still doing push-ups. A few minutes ago, he was doing classic reps, and then he was gritting out T push-ups: pressing upward, then shifting into a side plank. Now he’s doing one more variation, a snake push-up, meant to stretch his spine as it builds his chest and triceps.

Sweat forms a sheen on Bridges’ forehead, but the man you know better as rapper-actor Ludacris doesn’t stop. “No matter how many push-ups I do,” he says, “even when I don’t want to do them anymore, that’s like the only exercise I don’t mind doing.” His voice rises to the frenetic, staccato 11 you remember from bangers like “Rollout (My Business)” and “Southern Hospitality.” “Until I cannot. Fucking. Do. Them. Anymore.”

Andrew Hetherington

On this morning in Atlanta, Bridges will spend two hours in his garage gym pushing himself to that place on everything from bodyweight moves to bench presses to isometric holds. And yes, it crushes his muscles, but the way Bridges, 43, sees it, by pushing himself six days a week, he earns the right to enjoy life, even if that wrecks his physique just a bit. “My goal isn’t to look like the most ripped, biggest guy in the gym,” he says. “I just want to be functionally right in between the man that works out hard, but that motherfucker drinks beer and whiskey on
the weekends.” 

So he sets aside all distractions, trudges out to his personal muscle palace, and attacks challenges from trainer George Bamfo Jr. When Bridges isn’t filming movies like F9 – the ninth entry in the Fast & Furious franchise – he spends most of his workday juggling and evaluating music and upcoming film and TV projects. Right now, all his devices are back in his kitchen. He’s focused. “If I get a text or email or phone call,” he says, “it just fucks up the consistency [of the workout].”  

Andrew Hetherington

Bridges knows that consistency is key, because he spent the start of his career without it. He rose as a rapper in the early 2000s, then appeared as mechanic Tej Parker in the second Fast & Furious instalment, in 2003. But as his star grew brighter, travelling and touring destroyed any semblance of discipline. “One day, I happened to look down, and there was a gut just looking back at me,” he says. “I was like, ‘There’s no way. I have to get rid of this.’ ”

He started doing one-hour sweat sessions a few days a week. Then, in 2019, while prepping for F9, he met Bamfo, who instituted his current grind. “On day five or six, before you get that rest day,” he says of training with Bamfo, “that’s when it’s hell.” 

Bridges relishes all of it. His eyes narrow as he grabs a pair of gymnastics rings hanging overhead and hoists his 79-kg body upwards. Tightening his core, he lifts his legs in a straight line, a devastating gymnastics skill called an L-sit. “We never worked on this stuff,” says Bamfo. “As he’s gotten stronger, he was able to do this.”

Bridges shows off that strength throughout this workout, following those L-sits with decline sit-ups and bench presses. He finishes with 10 rounds of 30-second treadmill sprints, resting for just 30 seconds between each. When it’s all over, he’s drenched in sweat – and ready for a few six-pack-wrecking ice-cold beers. “I’m more of a four-pack kind of guy,” he says. “Save the other two packs for Friday and Saturday nights.” 

A Fast & Serious Sweat Session

Get an epic, equipment-free chest pump by taking on Bridges’s favorite all-pushups triset. Do 3 sets of 10 reps for each move, resting 30 seconds between each set.


Start with classic reps, focusing on keeping your abs and glutes tight.

T Pushups

Shift into a side plank and reach for the ceiling after each pushup rep.

Inchworm Pushup

Start standing, then walk your hands into pushup position.

Andrew Hetherington

Between sets

Favourite exercise?

“Anything chest. Dips and bench press – you always want to get that indentation, whatever you can do to mould your fucking pecs.”

Most hated exercise?

“Squats . . . . fuck the legs, but you have to do them.”

What do you listen to when you train?

“Diplo’s Revolution on SiriusXM satellite radio.I love that shit.”

Go-to cheat meal?

“Chicken parmigiana with noodles and garlic bread.”

A version of this story originally appears in the December 2021 issue of Men’s Health Australia, with the title “6 a.m. with Ludacris”.

More From